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End the filibuster?

Swammerdami

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McConnell offers scathing 'scorched earth' filibuster warning | TheHill
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) offered a scathing warning to Democrats on Tuesday, amid growing pressure to nix the legislative filibuster.

“Let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues: Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin, can even begin, to imagine what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like,” McConnell said.

He added that in a chamber that functions on a day-to-day basis by consent, meaning all senators sign off on an action, "I want our colleagues to imagine a world where every single task, every one of them, requires a physical quorum."
He just described his obstructionism in the previous Congress and in Obama's Presidency.
But, in a warning shot to Democrats, he outlined a laundry list of conservative policies that could pass the next time Republicans control the chamber: Defunding Planned Parenthood and so-called "sanctuary cities," anti-abortion legislation and nationwide concealed carry reciprocity.

"So the pendulum ... would swing both ways, and it would swing hard," he added.

Yes, Moscow Mitch is perversely proud of his own evil obstructionism. But the more important message is that Republicans would abolish the filibuster in any event, whenever they're in power and it would suit their agenda. The idea that if the R's can't filibuster the D's won't be able to either when the screw turns misses the key point: R's with 51-59 seats will selectively override filibuster whenever it suits their agenda anyway. That they didn't use this power under Obama to repeal Obamacare is simply that they had enough self-awareness to know that such a repeal — rather than mere babbled promises to "replace" Obamacare at some future date — would be a disaster for them. (And of course the gamble that gullible D's would allow the filibuster to coexist with their own brief turn at control.)
 

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McConnell offers scathing 'scorched earth' filibuster warning | TheHill
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) offered a scathing warning to Democrats on Tuesday, amid growing pressure to nix the legislative filibuster.

“Let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues: Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin, can even begin, to imagine what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like,” McConnell said.

He added that in a chamber that functions on a day-to-day basis by consent, meaning all senators sign off on an action, "I want our colleagues to imagine a world where every single task, every one of them, requires a physical quorum."
He just described his obstructionism in the previous Congress and in Obama's Presidency.
But, in a warning shot to Democrats, he outlined a laundry list of conservative policies that could pass the next time Republicans control the chamber: Defunding Planned Parenthood and so-called "sanctuary cities," anti-abortion legislation and nationwide concealed carry reciprocity.

"So the pendulum ... would swing both ways, and it would swing hard," he added.

Scorched Earth?

Can we do that to GOP headquarters?
 

Swammerdami

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I just noticed that Moscow Mitch revealed more than he intended.
Trump's Turtle said:
Let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues: Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin, can even begin, to imagine what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like,...
I want our colleagues to imagine a world where every single task, every one of them, requires a physical quorum.

...
But, in a warning shot to Democrats, he outlined a laundry list of conservative policies that could pass the next time Republicans control the chamber: Defunding Planned Parenthood and so-called "sanctuary cities," anti-abortion legislation and nationwide concealed carry reciprocity.

"So the pendulum ... would swing both ways, and it would swing hard."
When the D's have 51 votes, he plans a "scorched earth", with Senators insisting on reading 500-page bills, proposing countless amendments, rereading the 500-page bill after each tiny amendment, and so on. The D's will be able to accomplish nothing.

But when the R's have 51 votes they will do whatever they want, pushing through "nationwide concealed carry reciprocity*" without any trouble.

In other words, he's admitting the R's will insist on obstruction, but in the reciprocal position, the D's won't or can't do so.

If the D's do have the gumption to kill the filibuster, I hope they have the gumption to change other rules aas well. The next time Ron Johnson needs a bill read, instead of wasting ten hours in an empty Senate Chamber, put Johnson in some basement dungeon and read it to him there. Senators who violate rules should be bound and gagged.

* - With all our country's problems, Nationwide concealed carry reciprocity is the R's hot button? What a sick and twisted mindset the R's live in.
 

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Opinion | The pressure to reform the filibuster is already working - The Washington Post
In his speech, McConnell offered another threat: If Democrats reform the filibuster so they can pass their agenda, when Republicans retake power they’ll do the same. The pendulum “would swing hard,” he said, adding that Republicans would pass “all kinds of conservative policies” with “zero input from the other side.” He mentioned a national right-to-work law and defunding Planned Parenthood as reasons for Democrats to fear.


People's Whip Count - a page on where Senators stand on the filibuster issue.
  • Supports eliminating legislative filibuster: Total: 11, D+I: 10, R:1 -- Steve Daines, R-MT
  • Open to filibuster reform: Total: 29, D+I: 29
  • Position unknown : Total: 28, D: 6, R: 22 -- Mark Kelly D-AZ, Dianne Feinstein D-CA, Michael Carper D-DE, Gary Peters D-MI, Margaret Hassan D-NH, Robert Menendez D-NJ
  • Opposed to filibuster reform: Total: 32, D: 5, R: 27 -- Kyrsten Sinema D-AZ, Jacky Rosen D-NV, Jack Reed D-RI, Mark Warner D-VA, Patrick Leahy D-VT
 

ZiprHead

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Do your jobs and vote up or down on legislation instead of using tricks to keep avoiding votes.
 

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Update of the list at People's Whip Count:
  • Supports eliminating legislative filibuster: Total: 12, D+I: 11, R: 1 -- Steve Daines, R-MT
  • Open to filibuster reform: Total: 31 D+I: 31
  • Position unknown : Total: 23, D: 4, R: 19 -- Mark Kelly D-AZ, Michael Carper D-DE, Margaret Hassan D-NH, Robert Menendez D-NJ
  • Opposed to filibuster reform: Total: 34, D: 4, R: 30 -- Kyrsten Sinema D-AZ, Jacky Rosen D-NV, Jack Reed D-RI, Patrick Leahy D-VT
 

ZiprHead

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It is time to end the fake filibuster.

FTFY
I'm not against a filibuster, I'm against the virtual filibuster, which just needs to be suggested to happen. If people had to actually follow through, instead of just threaten, then that would likely reduce the number of them. At least try that first.

Oh, I understand that. But the fact is that the senate operated for fifty years before the idea of the filibuster came about. It is supposed to operate by an up/down majority rules vote. No where in the constitution that created the senate is minority rule allowed.
 

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President Biden on Twitter: "We’re witnessing an all-out assault on our democracy — and we need to act swiftly to protect the sacred right to vote.

We need the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act." / Twitter


Then
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "Abolish the filibuster." / Twitter


Sen. Kyrsten Sinema daftly doubles down on filibuster support
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has a very strongly held belief in compromise. And because she is essentially alone in this belief among members of the U.S. Senate, the For the People Act, which offered sweeping protections against voter suppression, will not pass. And there will not be a bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection of Jan. 6. And states like Arizona will pass a series of Jim Crow-like election laws, aimed at increasing restrictions on voting and making it more difficult for minority or marginalized communities to participate in the democratic process.

But, hey, the senator will have stuck to her guns. Held firm in her beliefs. Even though she is a sponsor of the For the People Act and believes in the creation of a Jan. 6 commission and is very much against restricting voting rights.
Her and Sen. Joe Manchin
The two of them made a special appeal to their Republican brothers and sisters, asking them to support the Jan. 6 commission.

They got snubbed.

You could practically hear Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell chortling in the cloakroom.
What will ever make them say "Forget about the Republicans"?
Sinema added, “To those who say that we must make a choice between the filibuster and ‘X,’ I say, this is a false choice.

“The reality is that when you have a system that is not working effectively – and I would think that most would agree that the Senate is not a particularly well-oiled machine, right? The way to fix that is to fix your behavior, not to eliminate the rules or change the rules, but to change the behavior.”
How does she plan to do that?
 

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Kyrsten Sinema Says Senate Filibuster Fosters Bipartisanship. Since When? - "The Arizona Democrat's view on the history and effects of the Senate procedural device is simply not connected to reality."

Noting
Joe Manchin Supported Filibuster Reforms in 2011 - "The second guy backed filibuster reform. So should the first guy."
Among the list of procedural reforms Manchin considered was Senate Resolution 10, which he co-sponsored. It would have...

...eliminated the filibuster on motions to proceed to a debate on the substance of the bill; eliminated secret holds; allowed both the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader to offer up to three amendments on behalf of their members after cloture has been filed as long as the amendments are relevant; required that Senators who wish to filibuster a bill must actually take the floor and make remarks; and expedited the process for nominees that require Senate confirmation.

The bill failed.

Back to the first article.
Last week, we asked Senator Manchin's office whether he still supported the kind of filibuster reforms he did back in 2011, when he declared that "West Virginians deserve a government that works for them, and they are understandably frustrated with the way things get done—or don’t—in Washington." We didn't get a response, but that was somehow better than what Senator Sinema served up on Wednesday. In a press availability alongside Republican Senator John Cornyn, with whom Sinema has embarked on a road trip in order to demonstrate the glories of bipartisan comity, the Arizona Democrat offered a defense of the filibuster that amounted to little more than make-believe. The history and real-world effects of the Senate mechanism that Sinema offered here simply have no connection to reality.

...
But on that last point, there are also the just entirely made-up effects of this procedural device Sinema presented here. The senator claimed the filibuster was "created"—again, a tenuous view of history—to "create comity and encourage senators to find bipartisanship and work together."
I was baffled by that also. I'd like to challenge her to find the filibuster in the Constitution and the Federalist Papers.
 

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And when the Senate changes hands, and the filibuster that currently impedes the Democrats is no longer available to help the Democrats?

By then, all state and federal districts will be so fucking gerrymandered, and voter disenfranchisement will be so commonplace, the presence or absence of a filibuster will means precisely jack shit. Republicans aren't even worried about saying the quiet part out loud anymore.
 

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And when the Senate changes hands, and the filibuster that currently impedes the Democrats is no longer available to help the Democrats?

By then, all state and federal districts will be so fucking gerrymandered, and voter disenfranchisement will be so commonplace, the presence or absence of a filibuster will means precisely jack shit. Republicans aren't even worried about saying the quiet part out loud anymore.

Right wingers routinely forget that the filibuster no longer applies to "helping the Democrats" or to thwarting the right wing extremist agenda of corrupting democracy.
That's why we have three Trump appointees including a drunken rapist and a christian godder on the SCOTUS.
 

Rhea

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And when the Senate changes hands, and the filibuster that currently impedes the Democrats is no longer available to help the Democrats?

It sounds like you think the GOP will respect the filibuster if they regain the majority?
Why would you think that?
 

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laughing dog

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And when the Senate changes hands, and the filibuster that currently impedes the Democrats is no longer available to help the Democrats?
Do you have an actual point?

The original filibuster where someone had to actually work was rarely used to deter or derail legislation. The virtual filibuster which requires only a threat to actually work is made legislation makes it effortless to thwart the will of the majority. It makes compromise much more difficult since it only takes a relatively small number of hardliners to maintain the filibuster under current Senate rules.

Given that there are many states with small populations, under current Senate rules, Senators from the 21 smallest states (a combined population of less than 40 million people out of a population of over 300 million) could theoretically prevent legislation from leaving the Senate. The current structure of filibuster rules makes a mockery of national elections when 41 senators can block almost any legislation. It creates smouldering frustration and resentment across the nation which helps to divide not unite our country.


Eliminating the virtual filibuster is a reasonable compromise. It permits actual filibusters which allows a minority to deter or derail legislation by engaging in actual work.

There are other options. The Senate could keep the filibusters and change the cloture rule to permit 51 votes to end a filibuster. Or have a 51 vote to end virtual filibusters and keep the 60 vote requirement for actual filibusters.

It is way past time to end the virtual filibuster.
 

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And when the Senate changes hands, and the filibuster that currently impedes the Democrats is no longer available to help the Democrats?

It sounds like you think the GOP will respect the filibuster if they regain the majority?
Why would you think that?

Because they have been so honorable in the past.
You know, like laying down the rule of no new SC Justices in the 6 months before an election, then eliminating the filibuster and slamming one through 2 weeks before an election...
"The people have spoken and we told them to go fuck themselves. Proudly."
 

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Chairman Schumer, Ranking Member Bennett, and members of the Committee. My name is Sarah Binder. I am a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor of political science at George Washington University. I appreciate the opportunity to testify today about the history of the filibuster.

I want to offer three arguments today about that history.

First, historical lore says that the filibuster was part of the original design of the Senate. Not true. When we scour early Senate history, we discover that the filibuster was created by mistake.

Second, we often say that the 19th century Senate was a golden age of deliberation. But the golden age was not so golden: Senate leaders by the 1840s were already trying to adopt a cloture rule. But most such efforts to bar the filibuster were filibustered.

Third, creation of the cloture rule in 1917 was not a statement of the Senate’s love for supermajority rules. Instead, it was the product of hard-nose bargaining with an obstructive minority. Short-term, pragmatic politics shape contests to change Senate rules.

The House and Senate rulebooks in 1789 were nearly identical. Both rulebooks included what is known as the “previous question” motion. The House kept their motion, and today it empowers a simple majority to cut off debate. The Senate no longer has that rule on its books.

What happened to the Senate’s rule? In 1805, Vice President Aaron Burr was presiding over the Senate (freshly indicted for the murder of Alexander Hamilton), and he offered this advice. He said something like this. You are a great deliberative body. But a truly great Senate would have a cleaner rule book. Yours is a mess. You have lots of rules that do the same thing. And he singles out the previous question motion. Now, today, we know that a simple majority in the House can use the rule to cut off debate. But in 1805, neither chamber used the rule that way. Majorities were still experimenting with it. And so when Aaron Burr said, get rid of the previous question motion, the Senate didn’t think twice. When they met in 1806, they dropped the motion from the Senate rule book.

Why? Not because senators in 1806 sought to protect minority rights and extended debate. They got rid of the rule by mistake: Because Aaron Burr told them to.

Once the rule was gone, senators still did not filibuster. Deletion of the rule made possible the filibuster because the Senate no longer had a rule that could have empowered a simple majority to cut off debate. It took several decades until the minority exploited the lax limits on debate, leading to the first real-live filibuster in 1837.

Conventional treatments of the Senate glorify the 19th century as the “golden age” of the Senate: We say that filibusters were reserved for the great issues of the day and that all senators cherished extended debate. That view misreads history in two ways.

First, there were very few filibusters before the Civil War. Why so few filibusters? First, the Senate operated by majority rule; senators expected matters would be brought to a vote. Second, the Senate did not have a lot of work to do in those years, so there was plenty of time to wait out the opposition. Third, voting coalitions in the early Senate were not nearly as polarized as they would later become.

All that changed by mid-century. The Senate grew larger and more polarized along party lines, it had more work to do, and people started paying attention to it. By the 1880s, almost every Congress began to experience at least one bout of obstructionism: for instance, over civil rights, election law, nominations, even appointment of Senate officers—only some of these “the great issues of the day.”

There is a second reason that this was not a golden age: When filibusters did occur, leaders tried to ban them. Senate leaders tried and failed repeatedly over the course of the 19th and early 20th centuries to reinstate the previous question motion. More often than not, senators gave up their quest for reform when they saw that opponents would kill it by filibuster—putting the majority’s other priorities at risk. Unable to reform Senate rules, leaders developed other innovations such as unanimous consent agreements. These seem to have been a fallback option for managing a chamber prone to filibusters.

We can draw at least three lessons from this history:

First, the history of extended debate in the Senate belies the received wisdom that the filibuster was an original, constitutional feature of the Senate. The filibuster is more accurately viewed as the unanticipated consequence of an early change to Senate rules.

Second, reform of Senate rules is possible. There are conditions that can lead a bipartisan supermajority to agree to change Senate rules. The minority has often held the upper hand in these contests, however, given the high barrier to reform imposed by inherited Senate rules.

Third, and finally, the Senate adopted a supermajority rule not because senators were uniformly committed to the filibuster. Senators chose a two-thirds rule because a minority blocked more radical reform. Short-term, pragmatic considerations almost always shape contests over reform of Senate rules.

The filibuster arose from a mistake. I say correct that mistake and make the senate a small d democratic body again.

https://www.brookings.edu/testimonies/the-history-of-the-filibuster/
 

Jason Harvestdancer

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And when the Senate changes hands, and the filibuster that currently impedes the Democrats is no longer available to help the Democrats?

By then, all state and federal districts will be so fucking gerrymandered, and voter disenfranchisement will be so commonplace, the presence or absence of a filibuster will means precisely jack shit. Republicans aren't even worried about saying the quiet part out loud anymore.

Not an answer.

And when the Senate changes hands, and the filibuster that currently impedes the Democrats is no longer available to help the Democrats?
Do you have an actual point?

Yes,[removed insult]
 
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Swammerdami

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Many states are passing laws and encouraging illegal practices to make it harder for blacks to vote. Gerrymandering means the Rs control some states where the Ds have a majority of voters. We need tough new federal laws to help combat such cheating.

If bills like HR.1 are not enacted, American democracy is dead. There aren't 60 Senators who will vote for such laws. Ending the Senate filibuster, or allowing a simple majority to pass a cloture motion, is the only way to save American democracy.

It is a distraction to distinguish between an actual and "virtual" filibuster. The latter evolved as a time-saving measure. Instead of Ted Cruz standing up for an hour and reading from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and then saying "I've got to telephone Tricia's Teenage Trix to confirm my date, so I'll ask Josh Hawley to continue the reading of Atlas Shrugged," Cruz could just say "Do you really want to listen to Ayn Rand for an hour?" Do you really think Cruz will drop his opposition to HR.1 if it means he's forced to stand up for a few hours and bring the Senate to a standstill?

It is shameful if there are not 50 Senators who support reforms like HR.1. And it is incredible that Senators who want to protect American democracy will not change the filibuster rules to do so.

If Manchin and Whats-hername are going to let us down, what about Murkowski or Romney? One gets the impression that Lisa and Mitt believe in America and democracy, that they know the difference between good and evil. But if they don't join in saving democracy I will detest them more than I detest subhumans like Cruz or Hawley. At least Cruz and Hawley openly brag about being hate-filled contemptible swine.
 

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Many states are passing laws and encouraging illegal practices to make it harder for blacks to vote. Gerrymandering means the Rs control some states where the Ds have a majority of voters. We need tough new federal laws to help combat such cheating.
Gerrymandering is irrelevant to the US Senate, because each state gets 2 Senators regardless of its population or its distribution.

Swammerdami said:
It is a distraction to distinguish between an actual and "virtual" filibuster. The latter evolved as a time-saving measure. Instead of Ted Cruz standing up for an hour and reading from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and then saying "I've got to telephone Tricia's Teenage Trix to confirm my date, so I'll ask Josh Hawley to continue the reading of Atlas Shrugged," Cruz could just say "Do you really want to listen to Ayn Rand for an hour?" Do you really think Cruz will drop his opposition to HR.1 if it means he's forced to stand up for a few hours and bring the Senate to a standstill?
You miss an essential point. Eliminating the filibuster (actual or virtual) is not about getting support for legislation- it is about reducing obstruction. The virtual filibuster requires no effort which is why its use has mushroomed.

Keeping the actual filibuster while eliminating the virtual one allows those who promised to keep the filibuster to agree to a compromise.
 

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Not an answer.

It is. Just one you are not willing to accept. But that's okay.

Many states are passing laws and encouraging illegal practices to make it harder for blacks to vote. Gerrymandering means the Rs control some states where the Ds have a majority of voters. We need tough new federal laws to help combat such cheating.
Gerrymandering is irrelevant to the US Senate, because each state gets 2 Senators regardless of its population or its distribution.

Not necessarily. If you gain control of the state through gerrymandering, and then pass laws that disenfranchise voters from a particular party, your party gets to pick senators with a huge thumb on the scales. Gerrymandering directly leads to 7 hour long voting lines and rat fuckery like unequal distribution of polling booths or the banning of giving people water.
 

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Gerrymandering is irrelevant to the US Senate, because each state gets 2 Senators regardless of its population or its distribution.
.

Which is itself a form of gerrymandering given the wide range of state populations.
 

Swammerdami

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Gerrymandering is irrelevant to the US Senate, because each state gets 2 Senators regardless of its population or its distribution.

:confused: The "For the People Act", which is the bill whose passage I was calling for and which may be defeated by filibuster, will help prevent cheating in ALL elections, including elections for the House of Reps and for state legislatures. Were you under the impression that the Senate is or should be only concerned with elections to the Senate? :confused:

Swammerdami said:
It is a distraction to distinguish between an actual and "virtual" filibuster. The latter evolved as a time-saving measure. Instead of Ted Cruz standing up for an hour and reading from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and then saying "I've got to telephone Tricia's Teenage Trix to confirm my date, so I'll ask Josh Hawley to continue the reading of Atlas Shrugged," Cruz could just say "Do you really want to listen to Ayn Rand for an hour?" Do you really think Cruz will drop his opposition to HR.1 if [preventing its passage] means he's forced to stand up for a few hours and bring the Senate to a standstill?
You miss an essential point. Eliminating the filibuster (actual or virtual) is not about getting support for legislation- it is about reducing obstruction. The virtual filibuster requires no effort which is why its use has mushroomed.

Keeping the actual filibuster while eliminating the virtual one allows those who promised to keep the filibuster to agree to a compromise.
YOU miss MY point. I've enlarged it and colored it red for you.
 

Swammerdami

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When the Fox News anchor calls out a Democratic Senator for not supporting the Democratic Party, maybe it's time for said moron to listen:
Chris Wallace said:
If you were to keep the idea that maybe you would vote to kill the filibuster, wouldn't that give Republicans an incentive to actually negotiate? By taking it off the table, haven't you empowered Republicans to be obstructionists?
 

Jason Harvestdancer

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It is. Just one you are not willing to accept. But that's okay.

The reason it is not an answer is because it doesn't address the question. Telling me "because birds have feathers" doesn't answer when I say "when the Senate changes hands, and the filibuster that currently impedes the Democrats is no longer available to help the Democrats".
 

Rhea

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It is. Just one you are not willing to accept. But that's okay.

The reason it is not an answer is because it doesn't address the question. Telling me "because birds have feathers" doesn't answer when I say "when the Senate changes hands, and the filibuster that currently impedes the Democrats is no longer available to help the Democrats".

Why do you think the Republicans, who, as outlined above, rammed through a Justice after just saying Justies shouldn’t be rammed through, would allow the Democrats to benefit from the filibuter?

Why do you think they’d respect it? Do they seem honorable to you?
 

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It is. Just one you are not willing to accept. But that's okay.

The reason it is not an answer is because it doesn't address the question. Telling me "because birds have feathers" doesn't answer when I say "when the Senate changes hands, and the filibuster that currently impedes the Democrats is no longer available to help the Democrats".

Everybody else seems to comprehend it. I guess you're just special. I'll repeat - because Republicans are so hell bent on gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement, the next time they win the senate the idea of a filibuster will be irrelevant.

Same answer, reworded a little differently for you to understand.
 

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:confused: The "For the People Act", which is the bill whose passage I was calling for and which may be defeated by filibuster, will help prevent cheating in ALL elections, including elections for the House of Reps and for state legislatures. Were you under the impression that the Senate is or should be only concerned with elections to the Senate? :confused:

You miss an essential point. Eliminating the filibuster (actual or virtual) is not about getting support for legislation- it is about reducing obstruction. The virtual filibuster requires no effort which is why its use has mushroomed.

Keeping the actual filibuster while eliminating the virtual one allows those who promised to keep the filibuster to agree to a compromise.
YOU miss MY point. I've enlarged it and colored it red for you.
I did not miss your irrelevant point because as I as wrote “Eliminating the filibuster (actual or virtual) is not about getting support for legislation- it is about reducing obstruction.” That means regardless of the views of Mr Cruz, he has one less method of obstruction to use.
 

lpetrich

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Joe Manchin Call With Billionaire Donors Offers Rare Glimpse of Dealmaking

"Manchin urged big-money donors with No Labels to talk to Sen. Roy Blunt about flipping his vote on the commission in order to save the filibuster."
The meeting was hosted by the group No Labels, a big money operation co-founded by former Sen. Joe Lieberman that funnels high-net-worth donor money to conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans. Among the gathering’s newsworthy revelations: Manchin described an openness to filibuster reform at odds with his most recent position that will buoy some Democrats’ hopes for enacting their agenda.

The call included several billionaire investors and corporate executives ... Also present was a roster of heavy-hitting political influencers, including Republican consultant Ron Christie and Lieberman, who serves as a representative of No Labels and now advises corporate interests.

The meeting was led by Nancy Jacobson, the co-founder of No Labels.

The wide-ranging conversation went into depth on the fate of the filibuster, infrastructure negotiations, and the failed effort to create a bipartisan commission to explore the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, and offers a frank glimpse into the thinking of the conservative Democrat who holds the party’s fate in his hands.

Manchin told the assembled donors that he needed help flipping a handful of Republicans from no to yes on the January 6 commission in order to strip the “far left” of their best argument against the filibuster. The filibuster is a critical priority for the donors on the call, as it bottles up progressive legislation that would hit their bottom lines.
About Roy Blunt R-MO, who voted against establishing a 1/6 Commission, TM said:
Roy Blunt is a great, just a good friend of mine, a great guy. Roy is retiring. If some of you all who might be working with Roy in his next life could tell him, that’d be nice and it’d help our country. That would be very good to get him to change his vote. And we’re going to have another vote on this thing. That’ll give me one more shot at it.
In other words, offer him a nice job in exchange for voting yes.
 

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The commission got 56 votes, not enough to meet the 60 cloture threshold.

TM noted that Pat Toomey R-PA would likely have voted for the commission if he had been present, and said
What I’m asking for, I need to go back, I need to find three more Republican, good Republican senators that will vote for the commission. So at least we can tamp down where people say, ‘Well, Republicans won’t even do the simple lift, common sense of basically voting to do a commission that was truly bipartisan.’ It just really emboldens the far left saying, ‘I told you, how’s that bipartisan working for you now, Joe?’
Yes indeed.

I'll now take a closer look at that PAC. From that article,
The Intercept has previously reported on No Labels’ sprawling network of PACs, used to elect allied lawmakers and congressional candidates, that go by names such as Patriotic Americans, No Labels Action, Govern or Go Home, Progress Tomorrow, United Together, United for Progress, and Citizens for a Strong America. The combined campaign funds helped secure the victory of No Labels-backed candidates across the country in recent election cycles.
From that PAC's homepage, No Labels | A New Politics of Problem Solving "There is no group in America doing what No Labels does. We’ve created a rebellious but constructive third force in American government that is finally poised to break the gridlock and dysfunction that is destroying our democracy."

But nothing on that PAC's big donors.
 

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From late in 2018, Billionaire Republican Donors Helped Elect Rising Centrist Democrats - "A host of GOP donors, as well as an owner of Fox News, are funding the effort to strip a Democratic House speaker of power."
No Labels, Lots of Cash

The newly empowered centrist Democrats rode a wave of big money into office.

Federal Election Commission records show that much of the centrist bloc has been financed by eight Super PACs associated with group No Labels, a centrist group that created the Problem Solvers Caucus.

Despite the litany of PACs, the donors remain largely the same group of about 13 wealthy businessmen, most of whom have a history of financing Republican campaigns.

'No Labels' Needs A Warning Label | HuffPost by Rep. Mark Pocan
I was duped.

...
At the program, one of the presentations was from a group named No Labels. The organization put forward a proposal for governing that meant working across the aisle to solve problems and stopping the gridlock in Washington. I was excited!

...
However, things quickly went south. I attended a few meetings at the outset, but the rhetoric wasn’t about finding ways to get things done and breaking gridlock ― rather it was more about finding more centrist, more corporate and more special interest-focused things to do. Soon thereafter, No Labels became involved in elections with a closely contested U.S. Senate race in Colorado, backing Republican Cory Gardner over Democrat Mark Udall.

That didn’t seem right. A group that wasn’t supposed to pick labels was doing exactly that: picking a label. When asked to join the Problem Solvers Caucus, members were never told that this would be part of the program.
Then he tried to find out about NL's funding.
First, the organization spent almost twice as much helping re-elect Republicans as it spent helping Democrats. Second, reporters reviewed email correspondence that showed No Labels contemplating a plan to attack Pelosi and use her leadership as a wedge to divide congressional Democrats. And third, it’s clear that No Labels never had any meaningful ultimatums or demands on rules for leadership during eight years of a Republican-led House, or over the last four years of a Republican-led Senate. No Labels only has challenges for Democratic leadership in the House, specifically, for our next speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

That sure seems like a label to me.
 

lpetrich

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More from late 2018.
When Bipartisanship Is Just a Cover for Conservatives - "Far from remaining aloof from politics, No Labels has been swooping down into the fray in recent years on behalf of Republicans and conservative Democrats."
Since 2010, a group called No Labels has embodied a particular approach to politics and policy in Washington, D.C.; it’s one that insists the real problems are partisanship, divisiveness, and incivility, and that if only sensible centrists from both parties could be brought together under the right conditions, the halcyon days of the past will return.

Yet curiously, the sensible solutions so often proposed by No Labels and its ilk have an uncanny likelihood of benefiting one particular element of our nation’s political economy: the superrich, or more precisely, the finance industry.

A new report on Monday from the Daily Beast adds a sweeping array of details to what many long knew or suspected about this movement, which allegedly wants to remain above the fray: It’s funded by the barons of hedge funds and private equity.
How No Labels Went From Preaching Unity to Practicing the Dark Arts
In a tweet that March, written under Penn’s direction, No Labels took the unconventional position that Democrats were to blame for not being more willing to work with Republicans in the destruction of their party’s signature piece of modern legislation.

The blowback was harsh both inside and outside the organization, so much so that the tweet was subsequently deleted and Penn was taken off the handle. Asked about this episode this past week, Melanie Sloan, a spokesperson for No Labels, initially said that Penn had never been given effective control of the group’s account. But Jacobson later confirmed it.
Back to The Intercept. "Selectively tying the hands of Democratic leadership in the wake of a Democratic rout in the midterms isn’t balanced governance, it simply helps the right."
 

Swammerdami

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(If anyone else is confused, I think the "TM" Ipetrich refers to in #83 and #84 is Joe Manchin.)
 

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Joe Lieberman formally registers as lobbyist for Chinese telecom giant ZTE • OpenSecrets - 2019 Jan 2

He also is on the take, it seems.


Stop glorifying ‘centrism’. It is an insidious bias favoring an unjust status quo | Rebecca Solnit | The Guardian
"The idea that all bias is some deviation from an unbiased center is itself a bias that prevents pundits, journalists, politicians and plenty of others from recognizing some of the most ugly and impactful prejudices and assumptions of our times."
 

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Today there's a big vote in the Senate, I guess. One side wants fair and free elections. The other side wants to rig elections so that R's will win even if D voters outnumber R voters 60-40.

And now we're looking for 10 R Senators who will compromise! 10 fair-minded Rs who will give elections to the Ds when they have 60% of the vote, but want the R's declared victorious when the Ds get only 59%. Compromise! Pundits are hoping ten such "pro-democracy" Repugnanticans show up. What a dismal joke!

Then there's Joe Manchin who probably wants his grandchildren to think he's an honorable man ... but Koch money is just too sweet to pass up.

If billionaires like Soros or Bloomberg really want to save America, why not just call up the fucktard D Senators, Manchin and Sinema, and ask about the price. I imagine $20 million should be more than enough. Manchin imagines himself higher-class than a cheap skid row streetwalker, but not much higher.
 

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Opinion | Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster - The Washington Post

After stating that she wants "lasting results",
Lasting results — rather than temporary victories, destined to be reversed, undermining the certainty that America’s families and employers depend on.

The best way to achieve durable, lasting results? Bipartisan cooperation.
She didn't address the issue of Sen. Mitch McConnell's obstructionism.
Then compromise with a filibuster reform! It is tiring reading we can't get rid of it so our hands are tied. We can keep it, while making it less useful as a partisan obstruction tool.

The other argument is that maybe, just maybe it is time to let the majority hold the keys. And it becomes an issue of who controls both Houses. Civility is dead in the Senate. McConnell strangled it to death.
 

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It is. Just one you are not willing to accept. But that's okay.

The reason it is not an answer is because it doesn't address the question. Telling me "because birds have feathers" doesn't answer when I say "when the Senate changes hands, and the filibuster that currently impedes the Democrats is no longer available to help the Democrats".

Everybody else seems to comprehend it. I guess you're just special. I'll repeat - because Republicans are so hell bent on gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement, the next time they win the senate the idea of a filibuster will be irrelevant.

Same answer, reworded a little differently for you to understand.

"It benefits my side in this exact millisecond. Anyone who thinks beyond the millisecond obviously supports the other side."

Every single time someone advocated removing some impediment to government abusing the people, I advised them to think "what will you say when the other side gets that power." Every single time I was told that because I thought beyond the immediate and into the future I was advocating for the other side. Then sides changed hands, which is what they do. And those who said "I want this impediment removed" start saying "Oh shit the other side has that power now, they're going to abuse it."

Every single fucking time, and nobody ever learns.

So when you say "end the filibuster" you are saying "end the filibuster when the Republicans are back in power." You don't know it, you'll never know it, but it is what you are saying.

That makes you the one advocating for the other side, if you look beyond the millisecond.
 

Swammerdami

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Everybody else seems to comprehend it. I guess you're just special. I'll repeat - because Republicans are so hell bent on gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement, the next time they win the senate the idea of a filibuster will be irrelevant.

Same answer, reworded a little differently for you to understand.

"It benefits my side in this exact millisecond. Anyone who thinks beyond the millisecond obviously supports the other side."

Every single time someone advocated removing some impediment to government abusing the people, I advised them to think "what will you say when the other side gets that power." Every single time I was told that because I thought beyond the immediate and into the future I was advocating for the other side. Then sides changed hands, which is what they do. And those who said "I want this impediment removed" start saying "Oh shit the other side has that power now, they're going to abuse it."

Every single fucking time, and nobody ever learns.

So when you say "end the filibuster" you are saying "end the filibuster when the Republicans are back in power." You don't know it, you'll never know it, but it is what you are saying.

That makes you the one advocating for the other side, if you look beyond the millisecond.

:confused: You seem unaware of present-day political realities in U.S.A. Two points:

(1) The federal government is divided more often than not these days. Yes the Rs are likely to have a Senate majority sooner rather than later, but it will do them minimal good with or without D filibustering unless the GOP also has BOTH the White House AND the House of Reps. Divided government is fine for the GOP, who are happy to let the federal government go to shit while the country is run by state governments and big corporations.

(2) The GOP has shown time and time again that they "play hardball." Do you really imagine for one minute that the Rs would NOT override a filibuster if they needed to, when they next have Senate control? They've already done so selectively.

True, they've let the Ds filibuster a tiny number of bills under Trump. I think these were mostly cases where the GOP was happy to let the bill fail, e.g. because it was Trumpism too irrational even for them. They could vote 'Yea' to appease the Orange Clown and his base while the bill failed. Similarly they let their moves to repeal Obamacare fail due to filibuster — they were smart enough to know that repeal would cause chaos.

Data point: For a long while the Senate was divided 50-50 under Trump. Pence cast a record number of tie-breaking votes. You need to go back to the 19th century to find a V.P. who broke more Senate tie-votes than Pence did. Every single one of those 50-50 votes was one where the Senate and its parliamentarian dictated that the Ds could not filibuster.

TL;DR. The claim that the Rs will take advantage of a no-filibuster rule is TRUE. We know this because they've already done it.
 

Loren Pechtel

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(2) The GOP has shown time and time again that they "play hardball." Do you really imagine for one minute that the Rs would NOT override a filibuster if they needed to, when they next have Senate control? They've already done so selectively.

Exactly. If they care they'll remove the filibuster anyway. It's not meaningful.
 

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(2) The GOP has shown time and time again that they "play hardball." Do you really imagine for one minute that the Rs would NOT override a filibuster if they needed to, when they next have Senate control? They've already done so selectively.

Exactly. If they care they'll remove the filibuster anyway. It's not meaningful.

Looks like I don't need to explain to Jason after all. I'd also point out the best way to predict future actions is to look at patterns of past actions and extrapolate. The appointment of Amy Coney Barret and how they acted during Trump's impeachment(s) is proof that Republicans don't give a flying fuck about rules or guidelines even they themselves lay out. And this is not a both sides issue either. No one in American politics is more diametrically opposed to their previous selves than the likes of Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz or Mitch McConnell. So the belief that Republicans would even entertain the idea of a filibuster when they are in power is a bullshit bad faith argument.
 

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(2) The GOP has shown time and time again that they "play hardball." Do you really imagine for one minute that the Rs would NOT override a filibuster if they needed to, when they next have Senate control? They've already done so selectively.

Exactly. If they care they'll remove the filibuster anyway. It's not meaningful.

Looks like I don't need to explain to Jason after all. I'd also point out the best way to predict future actions is to look at patterns of past actions and extrapolate. The appointment of Amy Coney Barret and how they acted during Trump's impeachment(s) is proof that Republicans don't give a flying fuck about rules or guidelines even they themselves lay out. And this is not a both sides issue either. No one in American politics is more diametrically opposed to their previous selves than the likes of Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz or Mitch McConnell. So the belief that Republicans would even entertain the idea of a filibuster when they are in power is a bullshit bad faith argument.

...and there you (we) are, trying to get someone who argues in bad faith to recognize the bad faith in those he argues for.
Go figure.
 

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(1) The federal government is divided more often than not these days. Yes the Rs are likely to have a Senate majority sooner rather than later, but it will do them minimal good with or without D filibustering unless the GOP also has BOTH the White House AND the House of Reps. Divided government is fine for the GOP, who are happy to let the federal government go to shit while the country is run by state governments and big corporations.

(2) The GOP has shown time and time again that they "play hardball." Do you really imagine for one minute that the Rs would NOT override a filibuster if they needed to, when they next have Senate control? They've already done so selectively.

True, they've let the Ds filibuster a tiny number of bills under Trump. I think these were mostly cases where the GOP was happy to let the bill fail, e.g. because it was Trumpism too irrational even for them. They could vote 'Yea' to appease the Orange Clown and his base while the bill failed. Similarly they let their moves to repeal Obamacare fail due to filibuster — they were smart enough to know that repeal would cause chaos.

Data point: For a long while the Senate was divided 50-50 under Trump. Pence cast a record number of tie-breaking votes. You need to go back to the 19th century to find a V.P. who broke more Senate tie-votes than Pence did. Every single one of those 50-50 votes was one where the Senate and its parliamentarian dictated that the Ds could not filibuster.

TL;DR. The claim that the Rs will take advantage of a no-filibuster rule is TRUE. We know this because they've already done it.

They don’t even hide it. They say it straight up. GOP will never let the filibuster stand in their way. It’s true that they need the house to an extent, but not for judges; and they are rapidly doing their best to destroy our rule of law.
 

Jason Harvestdancer

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The GOP has shown time and time again that they "play hardball."

Well duh, it's called politics. If you're not playing hardball you're not in Congress in the first place.

It was the Dems who removed some of the filibuster actions last time, specifically on court appointments, and that is why Trump was able to push through three SCOTUS appointments.

But it was beneficial for the millisecond it passed back then. Who cares that Trump used that power later. Saying a Republican might play the exact same hardball looks beyond the millisecond and means my cautions means I supported the hated other side.
 

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I think this is purely academic because the dems don't have the votes to end the filibuster anyway. But when the pendulum swings back, the republicans might be able to do it.
 
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